The 7 Sneakiest Rest Strategies in CrossFit

Most of us don't have an engine like Sam Briggs or the ability to go to that dark place and embrace suffering like Rich Froning; so breaking up a workout becomes necessary. Breaking Muscle has come up with 7 of the sneakiest ways you can slip some rest into your next WOD without drawing the ire of your coach.

1. Sandbagging

You’re not out of breath. You’re nowhere near redlining. You just don’t want to push hard today. The problem is everyone knows it. Those dirty looks and glances you think you’re getting? Yeah, everyone knows you’re not pushing yourself today, and they feel like you cheated them. Oh, and wait, did you drop the weight down ten pounds, as well?! C’mon!

2. Checking the Whiteboard

You have the memory of a goldfish, or so you tell everyone as you apologetically run past five people to check the whiteboard. Along the way they’ve had to stop swinging their kettlebells to avoid hitting you in the head, and you accidentally kicked someone’s rope, as well. It’s round four of a five-round workout. You know box jumps are next. We all know you’re just stalling.

3. Clothing Maintenance

Everyone knows it’s not what you do, it’s how you look while doing it. And those pesky laces on your brand new inov8s (or ultra-discounted Nanos) just keep coming undone. You can’t metcon with your laces untied - that’d be dangerous. So, you pause to tie your laces, this time double knotting them. So what if your heart rate comes down. It’s safety first, right? It’s just weird that no one else has to fix their laces so much.

4. Chalking Up

Surely chalking up is legit, right? I mean, you’re chalking up so you can minimize your rest and get those darn toes-to-bar unbroken. Fewer sets, more work! But, this is the 27th time you’ve chalked up. There’s more chalk on your hands than in the bucket. So much so that you’ve wiped over half of it off on your clothing. Other members are just taking their chalk off the back of your shirt at this point.

5. Water

Now we’re getting to a legitimate reason to pause. You’ve got to stay hydrated. Everyone has a fundamental right to water. But, let’s make sure it’s not a three-minute sprint workout, where you could have survived without some water. Or, in a longer piece, that you spend more time drinking then clocking up rounds. And don’t even think about “forgetting” your water bottle on the other side of the gym, giving you an extra twenty seconds of rest while you walk across to get it.

6. Timing

“I’m working in sets of three, with strict fifteen seconds rest,” you boldly declare. No one can begrudge you now. You, my friend, are a strategic genius. “I’m not going to sprint and limp. No sir, there’ll be no blowing up for this competitive exerciser.” It’s hard to argue with you on this one, you’ve got a game plan.

7. Fixing Equipment

Finally, we’ve hit on a strategy that no coach ever can chastise you for. Those lock-on collars are sliding up the sleeves of the gym’s new barbells. With them loose, the plates will bounce at an angle, shortening the lifespan of both the bar and plates.
A big deep breath and you pause mid-set to tighten those collars before getting (almost) straight back to it. For extra effect, I recommend a shake of the head to heighten the impression that you don’t want to stop, you have to stop, for the good of the gym.
Who could blame you for that? You were totally on course to smash the gym record and go to that dark place. But the gym is more important than one workout.

About the Author:

Colm O'Reilly has been coaching in one form or another since he was sixteen. First karate, then mixed martial arts and Brazilian jiu jitsu. In 2007, he tried his first CrossFit workout, "Cindy," in a hotel gym and was instantly hooked. Within months he was booking CrossFit holidays and flying to the USA to attend his Level 1. He soon opened Ireland's first CrossFit affiliate. You can check out his ramblings on the sport of CrossFit, cheesecake, and everything in between on his blog, Cheesecake and Barbells.

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